Anderson, S.C. – The Lander men's basketball team will open its 2017-18 campaign on Friday with a non-conference matchup with Carson-Newman at 5:30 p.m. The Bearcats are one of four teams that will be featured in this week's Anderson Conference Challenge hosted by the Trojans.
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• Lander enters the 2017-18 season off a 12-18 overall record and 8-11 conference mark set last season. The Bearcats were tabbed to finish 10th in this year's PBC Preseason Coaches Poll.
• Carson-Newman heads into the year after finishing fourth in the South Atlantic Conference last season. The Eagles were picked to finish third in this year's SAC Preseason Coaches Poll.
• Carson-Newman is led by one of the most talented players in the country in senior guard Charles Clark. Eagles fans saw the Murfreesboro, TN native rewrite the record books in 2017. Clark recorded two consecutive triple doubles in February with one of those games being the highest-scoring triple double ever (NCAA or NBA). The previous mark was set by the NBA's Russell Westbrook in 2016 when the MVP went for 51 points and a triple-double. Clark eclipsed Westbrook's mark with a 54-point triple-double on Feb. 25th against Coker.
• Lander will look to junior guard Rahu Purdie to contribute in the absence of the team's leading scorer from last season in JR Washington. Purdie averaged a team second-best 13 points per game while shooting an impressive 42.7 percent from the three-point line.
• Friday's game against Carson-Newman is the first of three straight contests for the Bearcats against SAC opponents. Lander will play Anderson on Saturday in the Conference Challenge before hosting Wingate on Nov. 21st.